2019 Spring Convention Schedule

Adam A. Thompson will be running games this spring at OwlCon in Houston, TX and at GaryCon in Lake Geneva, WI.

If you’d like to play some games with Adam, schedules are as follows:

OwlCon 2019 – Rice University Campus (Houston, TX) – Feburary 22 – 24

Classic Dungeons & Dragons (5e) – Saturday at 10:00 AM, 8 hours, Student Center: Sammy’s:4

Many heroes have traveled into the hills above Verbonbc in search of the rumored lost treasure of Rufulo and Zanzabar. But a new terror inhabited the black craig a month ago – a dragon and evil cultists devoted to it. Now two of the village’s children have been kidnapped, slated to be sacrificed in just eight hours! Dare you adventurers venture thither to rescue the children?

Traveller: First Run – Sunday 10 AM, 4 hours, Herring Hall:224:1

Try your hand at one of the original science-fiction role-playing games: Traveller. No previous experience required. In a far-flung future where anything is possible, the players will first create their own characters, earning skills, contacts, and enemies as they journey through the depths of space. Then, events that no one could have predicted will hurl the characters into crisis that could threaten their very lives!


GaryCon 2019 – Grand Geneva Resort & Spa (Lake Geneva, WI) – March 7 – 10

Vampyre Women of Venus Open Play – Friday at 6:00 PM, 4 hours, at Forum C FORC-363
An adventure board game set on a pulp sci-fi planet Venus where the players’ rocket ship has crash landed. New players may try their luck every hour with this quick game. Rotating rounds of play should be the norm. Three different ways to win—solo or co-operative. Stop by at the top of any hour to play.

Classic Dungeons & Dragons (5e) – Saturday at 1:00 PM, 8 hours 1777, Westgate A WGA-394
Many heroes have traveled into the hills above Verbonbc in search of the rumored lost treasure of Rufulo and Zanzabar. But lately, a new threat has inhabited the bleak peak: A night-soaring dragon and its reptilian worshipers. Now the cultists have kidnapped some of the village children to be sacrificed to the dragon at midnight! Dare ye adventurers venture thither?

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MilleniumCon 13 & Pathfinder

We rolled up to Round Rock last weekend to play some D&D, and ended up playing Pathfinder all weekend.

For those who don’t know, MilleniumCon is a yearly convention put on by Lone Star Historical Miniatures and is primarily focused on, as their name implies, historical miniature wargames. It’s pretty much the closest convention to us here in Austin, so we usually make it. They generously provide space for the RPGA folks, and this year they also had Pathfinder Organized Play set up in one of the four-table conference rooms.

Originally Dan and I had intended to get in some XP for our 4e RPGA characters. I was looking forward to honing my tactics with my elven barbarian Sithadel, specifically figuring out how to play him without getting him killed. He tends to die once per convention – that’s what I get for making a dex-based barbarian I guess. I like to play unconventional characters.

That all got derailed when I took the Pathfinder core book to work. Dan picked them up when they came out however long ago but I had only read the alpha version they put out online when Pathfinder was first announced. At any rate, I decided to roll up a character just for grins. I came up with Kes, a 1st level wizard specialized in abjuration and prohibited from casting evocation and necromancy. At the end of the process I was really curious to see how this character played, and how Pathfinder played.

So when we got to MilleniumCon we went ahead and jumped in on a Pathfinder game and played. It reminded me a bit of the old RPGA, with the adventure record sheets given out at the end of each session. I liked how some of the organized play elements were structured. For example, at the end of each adventure you get a list of magic items you can buy with the gold you’ve accumulated. By the end of four adventures we had a decently broad list to pick from. Overall it seems nicely structured to keep the characters balanced and play fun.

So, we played two slots of Pathfinder on Friday night, and two more slots on Saturday. At the end of it all I have to say that I enjoyed playing Pathfinder quite a bit. Of course I think the changes to skills in PF are great moves: I’ve hated Hide vs Spot and Move Silently vs Listen since the first time I had to roll them both when 3e first came out. The changes to the classes are great, too. My 1st level wizard was able to contribute to the combat on every round because now 0th level spells aren’t used up when you cast them, so I could throw an acid splash or cast daze every round. The changes to concentration and spell casting times also pleased me – I’ve always thought that spellcasters had it too easy in melee. Now you really have to think twice about where you put your wizard. The changes to how poison work also impressed me.

There were a few downsides, or course. Over and over again I had to hear from the other players how much more they liked Pathfinder then 4th edition D&D. I play 4e, 3.5e, and a little Pathfinder in one game, and I don’t like the “us vs them” these conversations usually take, so I always get turned off when the topic comes up. And of course the Pathfinder fans trotted out the same old saw about how confusing grapple was in 3e. I have always disagreed – 3e grapple wasn’t a blocker for us, and as far as I can tell it’s pretty similar in Pathfinder.

But the real downside for me was all the minmaxing. Just like in the bad old days of ultimate 3.5 cheese some of the players were rolling with some uber powerful summoner class that they couldn’t stop talking about. I was lucky enough to not actually have to play with the roll-players, but it reminded me of how much less 4e games seem to breed uber-powergamers. And I was reminded once again how much I disliked that.

But that was really minor for me and was totally overshadowed by how much fun I had and by how well-organized the mustering and gaming was. Kudos to the Pathfinder Organized Play folks. Next year I’ll definitely be back for more.

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Ale Break: 24 Hours in Faerun

Update: more OwlCon photos available here!

I just spent 24 hours in the Forgotten Realms, and boy am I tired!

This weekend Steve and I packed up our PHBs and trekked on over to Houston for OwlCon 2010.  We left early Friday because I wanted to play some D&D, actually I wanted to play a lot of D&D, and I got what I wanted!

When we got to Rice University, where OwlCon is put on, we were really pleased at how well organized everything was.  Steve had the foresight to book a hotel just a few blocks from campus, so every day started and ended with a nice walk across their stately campus to the buildings where the games were.  Inside, we got our packets, peeked into the exhibit hall, noting the Battletech Pods with excitement, and made our way over the the building where the RPGA games were held.

Now, in my experience, with the exception of GenCon, RPGA is the red-headed stepchild of convention events.  That is to say the RPGA events tend to get shuffled off to a corner of the convention, and I usually get the impression that the convention organizers either don’t really care too much about them, or, at some historical-miniatures-focused conventions I could name, seem downright hostile towards them.

OwlCon was different.  When we arrived at the nice large room the RPGA events were in there were plenty of comfortable chairs and large tables.  I was directed to the Houston RPGA organizer and right away started to have my socks blown off.  My pre-registeration on Warhorn was indicated on his printout of all the weekend’s games, he directed me to the GM for my game, and we sat down and started playing.  We didn’t have to stand around for an hour trying to muster, we didn’t have to fight other players for a GM, we just showed up and started playing.  Pow.

And that was just the start.  On Saturday the morning slot started at 10 AM instead of 8 AM, as one often sees at a con.  That meant we got a good night’s sleep and didn’t have to rush breakfast or run like mad to catch our games.  Steve headed off to play some Advanced Civ and Rail Baron, while I put on my dragon-skull helmet and headed back to Ferun for more bloody fun.

As a side-note, I’ve always been a Greyhawk fan, and was a little disappointed to see it replaced by Forgotten Realms by WoTC.  But I really liked the stories that they ran this weekend.  The organizers had put a lot of work into the scenarios and it showed.  The adventures dove-tailed into each other and after an adventure or two you really had the impression that you were in a living setting where your actions would have an effect on what was ahead.  They even played a round where the player’s success or failure at the some tables affected what was happening at the other tables.

After my elven barbarian got his ass handed to him by were-rats (actually, a total party kill) the organizers went around and got sandwich orders from everyone from the campus deli.  30 Minutes later lunch arrived.  That meant we didn’t have to rush to wrap up our game, run off to find some lunch, and run back to make the next slot.  This convention had a very atypical relaxation component to it that I could really get used to.  I pretty much couldn’t believe it.

After the third slot of the day finished at midnight we strolled over to the dealers room, perused the wares on display, and played a round of the Battletech PODS, which I had never had a chance to try before.  It was every bit as fun as I imagined it would be.  I was once again impressed by the fact that the dealer’s room didn’t close up at 7 pm or so as is typical at previous conventions I’ve been to.  Usually, even at GenCon, I have to decide between playing a game or skipping something to shop at the dealer’s room.  Not so at OwlCon.

Sunday followed Saturday’s great lead with more of the same: friendly, if tired, GMs and players playing two more slots of RPGA events.  At the end of the weekend my elf was 3rd level, I was tired and satisfied, but not frazled or exhausted as is ofter the case after a con, and we headed on home to Austin.  We had met a bunch of great players and GMs from all over Texas, and we had hit the monsters until the gold came out.

I’m already looking forward to OwlCon 2011.  Thanks for a great time, guys!

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For Love of Evil

For those readers who will be playing in “For Love of Evil” at GenCon in a month, we have finished the PCs.

Follow the link below for the D&D Character Builder and PDF versions of the 10 evil 30th level characters. They would also all make suitable villains in any game.


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Unicorn Rampant Heading to GenCon

Just a quick note to let everyone know we’ll be there in Indy from the 12th-16th of August. Looking forward to 4 days of non-stop gaming.

We’ll post which games we expect to attend once we register for them.

See you there!

PS – One of the games we’ll be DM’ing at GenCon is “For Love of Evil”, an adventure for evil 30th level characters. Find out more here.

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Unicorn Rampant is going to Owl Con!

We are proud to announce that we’ll be attending our first ever convention as a vendor this Feburary 6-9th at OwlCon, at Rice University in Houston Texas!

We’ll bring along some of our wares to peruse in printed form, and if you mention seeing this announcement on our blog, we’ll give you half off on all of our products! We’ll also be set up to give you discounts on any of our products you’d like to buy from RPGnow.com.

And of course, we’ll be set up to play some games right there at our table, so come on down and say hi!

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